GFNY Mexico City
GFNY Latin America Champions crowned
The first-ever GFNY Regional Championship took place last Sunday, March 26 at the GFNY Latin America Championship in Mexico City. The race started in the heart of the Latin metropolis and finished in the mountains above the city.
Riders from all across Latin America and well beyond competed for the coveted crown to be GFNY Queen and King of Latin America. It was a championship-worthy course: 130km with 2,319m of climbing and a mountaintop finish at 3080m.
In the women’s race, 8-time GFNY Champion Camila Cortes (Colombia) was again unbeatable. After winning GFNY Colombia four weeks ago, she added a 9th GFNY title to her incredible palmares by finishing first in 4:15:03. Mexicans Gabriela Diaz and Ximena Buenfil finished 11 and 13 minutes back for second and third.
“Winning never gets old but neither does it get easier,” said Cortes. “I made a lot of sacrifices to get to this level. And I’m ready to defend my GFNY World Championship crown in May.”
In the men’s race, a group of five riders separated itself, including defending champ Gabriel Corredor (Colombia) and GFNY Cozumel champion Flavio De Luna (Mexico). Despite the finish line being well above 3000m with a 10km final ascent, the race came down to a sprint between De Luna and compatriot Eduardo Corte. De Luna took the win in 3:51:59. Luis Naranjo rounded out the podium, leaving Corredor with fourth place.
“It was a true championship course for a cycling marathon race series like GFNY,” said GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme who did the race as well. “There was plenty of climbing to do but it wasn’t a pure climber’s race. The GFNY Latin America Champion, De Luna, is a pro and a complete racer, given that he also won the pancake flat GFNY Cozumel last November. I’m curious to see what he can do at the GFNY World Champs in NYC against the Colombian and New York elite racers.”
While just a few riders were in the hunt for the overall win, there were many aiming to qualify for a racer corral spot at the Campagnolo GFNY World Championship in NYC on May 21, 2017. While GFNY World events grant these exclusive slots to all finishers in the top 10% of their category, the more competitive Regional Championships extend this to 20%.
GFNY Super Sunday delivers
The 78mile / 125km inaugural Powerade GFNY Mexico City set off in the heart of Mexico City on Avenida Reforma with a sold out field of 2700 riders. While the starting elevation was already at a whopping 7325ft / 2233m, the race finished just after the crest of the Ajusco pass at a lung-bursting altitude of 11,902ft / 3628m – a full 1000m / 3000ft above giants like the legendary Col du Galibier, often the highest point of the Tour de France.
“Starting a GFNY in the heart of one of the five largest cities in the world was an incredible experience ,” says GFNY President Lidia Fluhme. “It was actually the first time a mass participation bike race was held in Mexico City – and the other four big cities don’t have one yet. A huge thanks from GFNY to the government of Mexico City and in particular to Mexican Sports Minister Alfredo Castillo for supporting GFNY in such a big way.”
The race was dominated by Colombian power couple Camila Cortes and Gabriel Corredor. Their home city and location of GFNY Colombia, Bogota, is at a similar height and of almost identical climate, which meant they would not be disadvantaged like many riders coming from sea level were.
Cortes is now the indisputable Queen of GFNY, having won six races in total (three of which in NYC). She was defeated just once, when she suffered a mechanical in GFNY NYC 2014, where she finished 3rd. Her win in Mexico City was never in doubt. She crossed the line in 4:25:05, outperforming Mexican Gabriela Mijangos by 15 minutes (4:40:51). Olympian triathlete Fabiola Corona (Mexico) took third place in 4:44:55.
Corredor has a 2014 GFNY NYC title to his name as well as several podium finishes at GFNY NYC and GFNY Colombia. Known for his relentless attacks, he didn’t hold back as soon as the road kicked up. Immediately after the 5km neutralized phase, Corredor set off. The Mexicans Escamez, Meza, Tamayo and Huber initially followed but Corredor kept hitting them with his attacks until he finally was in the clear. He crested the first of three climbs with a 2-min lead – and never looked back.
Behind him, the four Mexicans tried to organize a chase but they neither worked well together nor seemed to have had the legs to match the Colombian. Corredor won the race after an 80km solo ride in 3:59:32, averaging an incredible 32.5km/h for this net uphill race in thin air. Jorge Escamez finished second at 4:08:38 and David Meza third in 4:11:42.
“Now I want to go to Italy to race GFNY Italia,” proclaimed a relaxed Cortes at the finish. Corredor added: “I also want to go to Italy, but I need a vacation without cycling!”